A closer look at Phil Pressey’s draft stock

By John Guminski

Phil Pressey will skip his final year of college and head to the NBA draft.

Phil Pressey will skip his final year of college and head to the NBA draft.

On Wednesday Missouri point guard Phil Pressey announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft.

Coming off an impressive 2011-2012 campaign, Pressey was selected as the 2012-2013 pre-season Southeastern Conference player of the year.  That season he shot 42.8 percent, averaged 2.4 turnovers and the team finished with an overall record of 30-5.

However, multiple late-game collapses this season doomed the Tigers to a 23-11 record, including a first round loss to Colorado State in the NCAA tournament.

Immediately following the announcement many fans took to Twitter and questioned Pressey’s decision and his draft stock. ESPN’s Chad Ford, a leading NBA draft analyst, projects Pressey will go late in the second round — if he gets drafted at all. The draft consists of two rounds with 30 selections per round for a total of 60 players selected.

Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com has seven point guards ahead of Pressey on his draft board. After the announcement Goodman tweeted, “I think people know how I feel about Phil Pressey, but I believe he made a poor choice deciding to leave for NBA.”

The No. 1 point guard prospect in the 2013 draft is Michigan’s Trey Burke, projected by Ford to be the sixth pick overall. The 6-foot sophomore played a crucial role for the Wolverines’ run to the NCAA Championship. Below is a comparison of Burke and Pressey’s statistics for the season.

Pressey Burke
Points Per Game



Field Goal Percentage



Assists Per Game



Turnovers Per Game



Steals Per Game



Burke shot the ball better, turned it over less and distributes the ball almost as well as Pressey.

It is worth comparing Burke last year to Pressey  this year. Both men were thrust into a starting role with little support off the bench. Burke played 36 minutes per game, averaged 15 points, five assists, one steal and three turnovers.

Burke’s decision to return to Michigan might have been made easier due to the talent that surrounded him during this season. Pressey might not have that kind of support next year as Missouri loses team leaders Alex Oriaki, Keion Bell and Laurence Bowers.

Pressey’s father, Paul Pressey, is an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have four picks in the 2013 draft.

The next step for Pressey is preparing for the NBA Draft combine on May 15-19 in Chicago. The NBA draft is scheduled for June 27.


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